Two Murdoch academics have joined an elite group after the Australian Government recognised them as being amongst the nation’s leading providers of quality teaching.
Dr Ravi Tiwari, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Biology and Danny Toohey, Associate Dean for Learning and Teaching (Engineering and Information Technology) have received Citations for Outstanding Contribution to Student Learning as part of the Australian Awards for University Teaching, administered by the Office of Learning and Teaching.
Murdoch interim Vice Chancellor, Professor Andrew Taggart, said Dr Tiwari and Mr Toohey’s commitment to quality learning outcomes for students and improving their learning experience was commendable.
“Improved learning outcomes go far beyond the University experience and provide our students with the autonomy to be life-long learners,” Professor Taggart said.
Dr Tiwari from the School of Veterinary and Life Sciences received his citation for using cutting-edge research to inform teaching practice that engages students with the subject matter and motivates learning in the biological sciences.
Dr Tiwari’s passion for teaching stems from his strong belief that education can overcome any inequality.
“Coming from a developing nation, I have seen inequalities in the world based on race, religion, gender, wealth and socioeconomic status,” Dr Tiwari said.
“It is my strongest belief that the key to solving these issues lies first and foremost in education – and it is this which motivates and drives me to excel as a teacher.”
Mr Toohey from the School of Engineering and Information Technology received his Citation for sustained commitment to facilitating student engagement and improving learning outcomes in
Information and Communications Technology through interaction with students via multiple channels and innovative approaches to assessment.
Mr Toohey inspires his students in their study of databases and business intelligence through his enthusiasm for the topics. His teaching and approach to assessment tries to take into account the individual needs of students, including their previous learning background, location of study and mode of enrolment.
“One of the challenges for academics now is that students are located in many different locations and study in different ways; we have students who study on-campus and externally, and we have a growing number of students studying off-shore in Singapore and Dubai,” Mr Toohey said.
“We have to be able to provide all of our students with an equivalent and meaningful experience, regardless of where or how they are studying.”
Minister for Education, Christopher Pyne, congratulated recipients and said the Citations reaffirm the crucial role staff and teachers play in helping Australian universities to deliver quality education and improve the student learning experience.
“The excellence of our higher education teachers goes a long way to establishing the Australian higher education sector’s reputation as a global leader,” Mr Pyne said.
The Murdoch academics were presented with their Citations at an award ceremony at Frasers in Kings Park on Thursday September 18. The Citations include $10,000 in prize money.